bundesliga

Leon Goretzka strikes late against Gladbach to leave Bayern Munich on verge of title

Bayern Munich moved to within one more win of being crowned Bundesliga champions for the eighth year in a row after Leon Goretzka's late winner gave them victory over fourth-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Bayern Munich 2–1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Goals: 1-0 Zirkzee (26'), 1-1 Pavard (o.g. 37'), 2-1 (Goretzka 86')

Without the league's leading goalscorer Robert Lewandowski and leading assist provider Thomas Müller – both suspended – Bayern boss Hansi Flick brought Lucas Hernandez, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Zirkzee and Michael Cuisance into the team. Gladbach were forced into a significant adjustment inside 10 minutes, meanwhile, when their 10-goal striker Marcus Thuram was forced off injured. Ivan Perisic had scored the first goal in Wednesday's DFB Cup semi-final win against Eintracht Frankfuft, and the Croatian chested down for former Gladbach midfielder Cuisance to volley off target from the game's first real opening. The visitors briefly thought they were in front when Jonas Hofmann tucked home from substitute Breel Embolo's through ball on 16 minutes, but a VAR review ruled that he had strayed narrowly offside. Hernandez then had a great chance when the ball broke to him eight yards out, but the left-back's effort on his weaker right foot was easily saved by Yann Sommer. Midway through the half, it was Gladbach's turn to miss a golden opportunity. After Embolo's initial header was pushed back to him by Manuel Neuer, the Swiss striker skewed the close-range rebound awkwardly wide with his left foot. Seconds later Zirkzee was much more clinical, giving Bayern the lead with a first-time finish after intercepting Sommer's ill-judged pass across his own area. Gladbach, though, got the equaliser their play deserved when Patrick Herrmann's low ball across the six-yard box was turned into his own net by Benjamin Pavard.

Gladbach started the second half playing with similar confidence, and Herrmann's drive was pushed clear by Neuer on 54 minutes. Bayern reacted by introducing Alphonso Davies and Kingsley Coman, and Sommer needed to make a fine save when Gnabry's deflected volley looked destined for the corner. It looked like Gladbach would leave with a hard-earned point but with time ticking on, Pavard made up for his earlier error by sliding the ball across goal for Goretzka to stab home four minutes from time. The three points take Bayern back into a seven-point cushion ahead of Borussia Dortmund, needing a win over Werder Bremen on Tuesday to clinch the title.

Match stats

  • Goretzka got his sixth goal of the campaign – all of them have come in the second half of the campaign.
  • Dutch U19 international Zirkzee now has four goals in his first eight Bundesliga matches.
  • This was the first time since 2012 against VfB Stuttgart that Bayern had less of the ball at home in the first half of a Bundesliga game.
  • Bayern have scored 92 Bundesliga goals from 31 games this term, more than any other team at the same stage in the league's history.
  • Cuisance made his first competitive start for Bayern since his summer move from Gladbach.
  • The defending champions have won their last 10 Bundesliga matches – including six since the league resumed in May. They last dropped points in a 0-0 draw with RB Leipzig in Munich on 9 February.

Watch: Flick: "We've put together a fantastic run in 2020"

Line-ups

Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Hernandez (Davies 62') - Kimmich, Cuisance (Coman 62') - Gnabry, Goretzka, Perisic (Martinez 88') - Zirkzee (Wriedt 77')
Unused subs: Ulreich, Odriozola, Singh, Batista Meier, Musiala
Out: Coutinho (ankle), Lewandowski (suspended), Mai (ankle), Müller (suspended), Süle (match fitness), Tolisso (ankle), Thiago (groin)
Coach: Hansi Flick

Gladbach: Sommer - Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi (Jantschke 46'), Bensebaini - Hofmann, Kramer, Neuhaus - Herrmann (Wendt 70'), Stindl (c), Thuram (Embolo 10') (Benes 83')
Unused subs: Sippel, Doucoure, Müsel, Quizera, Traore
Out: Plea (suspended), Strobl (hamstring), Zakaria (knee)
Coach: Marco Rose

Watch: Boateng: "It's not easy to replace Lewandowski and Müller"